Russian forces have fires “warning shots” at a British Royal Navy destroyer, according to reports in Russia.

Moscow’s defence ministry has said a border patrol boat fired warning shots at HMS Defender and a Su-24M warplane dropped four bombs after the British warship entered the country’s territorial waters in the Black Sea.

Russia said the incident happened near Cape Fiolent in the south of Crimea.

Dorset Echo: Screengrab taken from showing the route taken by HMS Defender in the Black Sea. (PA)Screengrab taken from showing the route taken by HMS Defender in the Black Sea. (PA)

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 although that has not been recognised internationally.

“The destroyer was warned in advance that weapons would be fired in case of a violation of the Russian state border. It disregarded the warning,” the statement said.

“As a result of joint actions of the Black Sea Fleet and the Border Service of the Russian Federal Security Service, HMS Defender left the territorial sea of the Russian Federation.”

The there was no immediate response to the statement from the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

HMS Defender – a Type 45 destroyer – is part of the UK Carrier Strike Group currently heading to the Indo-Pacific region.

However, it was announced earlier this month that it would be temporarily breaking away from the group to carry out its “own set of missions” in the Black Sea.